Hockey Picked to Finish Fifth in Inaugural CCC Preseason Poll

Hockey Picked to Finish Fifth in Inaugural CCC Preseason Poll

CCC Preseason Poll Video

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Endicott College was tabbed as the preseason favorite to claim the first-ever Commonwealth Coast Conference Men's Ice Hockey Championship in the CCC Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Wednesday morning by the conference office.

The Gulls earned 97 points and seven of the possible 10 first place votes that were cast by the league's head men's ice hockey coaches.

Last year, in only its first varsity season, Endicott posted an impressive 16-9-2 record and advanced all the way to its conference championship. However, the Gulls' inaugural varsity season met a disappointing end as they were bested by Salve Regina in the final.

Salve Regina, coming off a conference championship and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, was picked in the second slot of this year's poll. The Seahawks earned the three remaining first place votes and totaled 88 points.

The University of New England, the only team that did not compete against the other CCC hockey schools last year, was picked third in the poll with 75 points.

Rounding out the top five were Nichols, which was voted into the fourth spot with 68 points, and Wentworth, which earned 55 points for the fifth slot.

Suffolk (48 points), Curry (41), Johnson & Wales (38), Becker (23), and Western New England (17) closed out this year's ledger in that order.

Wentworth returns 19 players from last year's team which won six of its final seven regular-season contests to secure a playoff berth and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the 16th time since 1998 where the Leopards fell to top-seeded Endicott. Among the 19 returners for the Black & Gold are the top six scorers beginning with senior defenseman Jake Flynn (Lino Lakes, Minn.), a Second Team All-Conference selection as a junior, who led the team with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists). Junior Erik Andersson (Madison, N.J.) had a team-high eight goals (including three game winners) to go along with six assists for 14 points last season. Junior defenseman Ryan Sullivan (Whately, Mass.) tied Flynn with a team-high 11 assists and added a pair of goals for 14 points in 2015-2016. Fellow junior Jake McDonough (Marshfield, Mass.) returns after matching Andersson's eight goals and four assists for 12 points. Sophomores Angus Johnston (Calgary, Alta.) and Adam Lane (Sarnia, Ont.) both return after putting up 11-point seasons as freshmen while senior Kyle LeBrun (Bridgewater, Mass.) had six goals and an assist as a junior. In goal, Wentworth graduated All-Conference netminder Joel Miller, however junior Ryan Hubbard (West Bridgewater, Mass.) returns after seeing time in six contests last season.

The first year of CCC hockey gets underway on Friday, Oct. 28 with five CCC teams in non-conference action. All ten teams will drop the puck on the CCC season on Thursday, Nov. 3. The top eight teams in the 2016-17 regular-season conference standings will qualify for the CCC Tournament, which starts with the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 25 and concludes with the inaugural CCC Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday, March 4. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the league's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championship Tournament.

2016 CCC Men's Ice Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Endicott 97 (7)
2. Salve Regina 88 (3)
3. University of New England 75
4. Nichols 68
5. Wentworth 55
6. Suffolk 48
7. Curry 41
8. Johnson & Wales 38
9. Becker 23
10. Western New England 17